Businesses urged to invest in apprentices

Published: Monday 12th March 18

Wandsworth businesses were invited to an Apprenticeship Breakfast this week to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week and hear about the value apprentices could add to their firm.

The event was organised by the Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce, in close partnership with the Banham Group, Wandsworth Council Lifelong Learning, and education and training consultancy Rinova.

Elliot and Pareice

There were lively discussions and questions over the croissants, with local employers hearing how investing in apprentices can boost business performance.  There was also a focus on how apprenticeships are structured, as well as the current funding available, including an explanation of how the new apprenticeship levy, introduced by the government a year ago, works. 

The business people heard from Steve Pinto, Chief Executive of Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce, Martin Herbert, Managing Director of  Banham;  Kevin Faulkner, Head of Banham Academy and Santino Fragola, Head of Lifelong Learning for Wandsworth Council.

Elliot Veheary and Pareice Hassan-Wright talked about apprenticeships from the perspective of a young person. Elliot is a security apprentice with Banham Academy and Pareice is a Business Administration Apprentice with Wandsworth Council.  They talked about their experiences of being an apprentice and their future employment goals. 

Mayor of Wandsworth Leslie McDonnell attended the event. He's seen here with Steve Pinto and Beverley Corson from Engineering Business Growth

Pareice said: “I would strongly recommend an apprenticeship route to other young people.  I have been fortunate in being able to expand my experience in all aspects of working in an office and the training offered has really improved my communication skills and my competence in using ICT.  I now know what I want from my career and the apprenticeship has given me a very good basis to work from.”

Elliot said "Since joining the apprenticeship scheme at Banham, I have gained hands on experience with installing cameras, entry systems and alarm systems. I mostly work alongside engineers learning about the systems and methods of installation. I also attend the Academy one week every month to learn the theory side and knowledge of how these systems work. I am looking forward to the future in becoming a qualified engineer with Banham and furthering my career in the security industry.”

The council’s business spokesman Cllr Kim Caddy said: “Investing in motivated young people reaps massive awards for businesses. We have a lot of existing businesses in Wandsworth, with new ones springing up every day, and we’re keen to work with as many of them as possible to get our young people into apprenticeships.

“There’s plenty of support to help you navigate the system, and your apprentices will soon develop into skilled, qualified workers.”

"We’d also like to stress the benefits of apprenticeships to young people. You’ll be paid while you learn and will get a recognised qualification, important skills, valuable work experience and a foothold into your chosen industry.

For further information on apprenticeships, contact:


Kevin Faulkner, 020 7819 3786

Wandsworth Council Lifelong Learning

Carol Stewart 020 8871 5473

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